A Comprehensive Guide to Bail Bonds
It’s quite possible you’ve heard someone mention they’ve been “bailed” out of jail, or “bonded” out of jail. Bail bonds can be quite confusing. Actually, bail and a bond are not the same thing. The words are often used interchangeably, and thus people often misunderstand the definitions of bail, bond, and a bail bond.
Bail vs. Bond
Bail simply put is money. It’s a fee that’s paid by the accused to be released from jail. The bond is an agreement between the defendant and the court, whereby the defendant agrees to appear in court on a specific date.
After an accused is arrested, a court officer (i.e. a judge) will stipulate a bail amount on a conditional basis (the bond agreement), or deny the accused bail. Remember, bail is the fee that the accused must pay to be released. The bail will usually be paid by the accused’s lawyer, friend or family member on behalf of the defendant.
It’s important for citizens to know how to bail someone out of jail, but not every state offers bail. The states that do not offer bail currently are Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.
Bail is often too expensive for the average citizen, and thus the representative of the defendant (family member, friend or lawyer) will contact a bail bond agent on behalf of the defendant. The bond agent will post the full amount of bail on the defendant’s behalf. Essentially, a bond agent offers a payment option for bail. The agent also takes responsibility for ensuring the defendant will honor their bond agreement in exchange for paying the full bail amount.
Selecting the Right Bail Bond Agent
Though the goal of most bail bonds in Los Angeles is to ensure that the defendant honors their bond agreement between with the court, it’s also imperative that the those acting on the defendant’s behalf select the right bond agency for their needs.
Beware of Scams
Unfortunately, there are those who prey on vulnerable people and take advantage of them. Knowing the general fees of bond agents can help you avoid scammers. Bond agency fees are usually between 10% and 25% of the bail fee, depending on the type of crime and stipulations of the defendant’s release. Make sure you understand what your fee pays for.
Researching Bail Bonds Info
If you have asked yourself “how do bail bonds work in California”, then you are on the right path of being an informed citizen. You want to continue your research of reputable bail bond agencies. Check sites like Yelp and Google for reviews. At Sharky & Stephen Bail Bonds, we have perfect reviews and testimonials.